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“Stop Hate Crimes” campaign (Denmark)

September 20th 2012

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Organised by the Danish Institute for Human Rights
1) Brief description of the campaign

In Denmark it seems that more hate crimes are committed than reported to the police. Most hate crimes are committed in Copenhagen at night by young people. Therefore, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Copenhagen Police Department, the City of Copenhagen, and the City of Frederiksberg ran a campaign to stop hate crimes. The campaign was called “Stop Hate Crimes”.

2) General objectives of the campaign

  • To get victims and witnesses of hate crimes to report them to the police;
  • To prevent and combat hate crimes;
  • To increase the general public’s understanding of hate crimes;
  • To let people know where victims of hate crimes can get help.

3) Specific objectives of the campaign

The long-termed and more specific objectives of the campaign were to make people aware of the fact that hate crimes are committed in Danish society and that it is a serious problem, as well as to increase the number of hate crimes being reported to the police, but to decrease the number of hate crimes being committed.

4) Target audiences (primary and secondary)

Hate crimes make up a complex problem which is not solved on a short-term basis. Therefore, the campaign is only one of the efforts in the battle against hate crimes. During the next five years different initiatives will be
launched in order to reach different target groups, which are all crucial to the solution of the problem. However, the primary target group of the campaign ‘Stop hate crimes’ was the offenders and the victims, aged 15 to 30. Within this group, the campaign mainly focused on minorities who according to the Danish Criminal Code are the victims of hate crimes (i.e. persons of another race, belief, or sexual orientation than the majority).

5) Stakeholders involved and the difficulties encountered and surpassed while managining therelationship with them

As such there were no difficulties encountered and cooperation between the partners went very well. This good cooperation can be attributed to the fact that from the beginning expectations and eventual issues were
discussed and cleared. The only problem that could be mentioned was tackling of the media – as the partners have different strategies and different ways of “wording” issues – but even this was solved by allowing each partner to “speak” on behalf of itself.

6) Resources and budget

The total cost of the campaign was 146.500 Euro. This covers the cost of the creative development of the campaign, production, and media. However, it does not include the time spent on the campaign by the employees of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Copenhagen Police Department, the City of Copenhagen, and the City of Frederiksberg.
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7) Detailed description of the communication channels used and messages conveyed. How did the organisers connect with their audiences? Possible pitfalls to be avoided.

The campaign focused on making an impression on people in places were hate crimes are committed. Thus, the campaign featured big banners at the front of buildings facing the town hall square of Copenhagen, as well as large posters at 100 stands around the city of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg and at the rear end of buses (photos soon to follow).

The campaign also featured posters at gyms (Fitness World) in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg where people age 15-30 work out on a daily basis.
The campaign also made use of social media. It had a Facebook Cause page, a Facebook campaign, and a homepage www.stophadforbrydelser.dk.

A pamphlet about hate crimes and why it is important to stop them was produced for the campaign. The campaign also involved local businesses by mail with letters requesting them to put up stickers in their display windows urging people to stop these crimes. Local as well as national media also mentioned the campaign, and at a festival in Copenhagen celebrating diversity a tent was put up showing the posters of the campaign inviting people to come discuss the campaign with the campaign managers.

A special feature was made by an art duo at the main shopping street in Copenhagen. The art duo placed a glass case displaying a megaphone at a shopping street. Every day at noon for a week a man stopped by the
glass case, took out the megaphone and yelled: “It is never too late to say I’m sorry”. This was a loud comment on the way we treat foreigners and each other.

8) Explanation of the mechanism put in place to evaluate and monitor the campaign

One of the main objectives of the campaign was to decrease the number of hate crimes being committed. However, since the campaign ran in 2010, it is not yet possible to measure if this objective has been met.

Nevertheless, the campaign was noticed by the press, which widely mentioned it and helped put focus on hate crimes. The Facebook cause gained almost 2.000 supporters, and the Facebook campaign generated 5.000
clicks.

The campaign has also resulted in the police now investigating whether there is a motive of hate behind violent crimes. 25 police investigators in the Copenhagen police force have been trained in handling hate crimes, and a joint European database for registration of hate crimes has been launched.

9) Additional information

To access a slideshow of the posters used in the campaign, please click here .